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Interism // Avondale St. [Album Review]

Band: Interism

Release: Avondale St.

Area: Brisbane

Date of release: 17th November 2018

Genre: Alternative

For Fans Of: Switchfoot, Sublime

“I need some faith in you (faith in you)

you dictate the fairy tales, give me something true” - Fairy Tale

Brisbane based Alternative Rock band Interism are regulars in the Brissy scene, playing with Atlas In The Attic, Treachery Cove and several other great, local Brisbane bands over the years. Last November, they released their debut album titled "Avondale St." which is an eight-track record consisting of a myriad of influences ranging from rock n' roll, to pop-punk, mellow, stoner groove and - believe it or not, some doom-metal vibes.

The record kicks off and out come some kooky lead guitars, focusing on rapid tremolo with a true rock n' roll feel, bringing in the first track 'Take a Bow' which has an interesting arrangement of multilayered looping sections which really lends itself to the texture and the wavy vocal effects. Lightly put, Interism start off their debut album "Avondale St." with an unrelenting psych-rock-meets-nu-metal vibe, seemingly making comments on the socioeconomic state of the Australian Music Industry. I noticed some clipping in the second track 'World On Fire' and when it gets into the second verse and then again in the chorus it almost becomes almost too hard to listen to. When the vocal effects come in heavy in the mix, along with the drums, it gets a little messy and I had to turn the sound down considerably each time it came around. Aside from that, it's a pretty groovy tune, with only the mix unfortunately being the downfall. 'Don't Look Back' starts off with another gradual build in progression. Again, with a tremolo effect aiding the introduction of the drums, which are a fairly calm through the duration of the track, that is until the vocalist changes their tone to be considerably more cheerful and up-beat.

The band also break into a bizarre ska section and it's cool, but if you're going for ska maybe keep the sections a tad longer. It progresses back into the more pop punky vibes with the lines "don't look back, don't look back I'm no good" bringing back some more angst to what is a fairly chirpy track.

Nearing the end of the song there's a pretty cool 'outer-lude' which goes into yet another more serious chorus of "don't look back I'm no good" which then sees the band going ska again. I don't think the track benefited from being 5 minutes long, but hey, it was more or less pretty varied.

I guess by now I've come pretty accustomed to the beginning of Interisms songs, so forgive me, but they're all fairly similar with perhaps the use of two pedals and that slow build to a convoluted but palatable sound. The lyrics and narrative of 'Lately' were a fair bit more mature, which I enjoyed. I really thought the piano/keys in the distant background were a nice subtle touch but I feel like the looping guitar effects could be a little lower in the mix or possibly not throughout the majority of the mix. At times I found myself playing the imaginary finger piano on my desk, tapping away.

'Fairy Tales' - coming into the back end of the record, sees Interism change up their song structure in what I'd call a big way. Instead of starting with a looping guitar, we now start with a funky drumbeat and a more 00's alternative throwback, somewhere between Switchfoot and a more synth rock version of Sublime. I could see this being pretty popular live with the crowd yelling back the chorus. 'Pandanus' is a much more mellow, stoner track. The bass line throughout the course of the 5:26 kept me pretty keen for more. I think its got a nice balance of pitched strings and very raw yet overdriven tones and I think this is one of the more experimental tracks on the record; bringing back some doom metal and nu metal vibes while keeping a consistently groovy rhythm throughout. I really, really dug the melody and the weird eeriness of the whisper scream vocals.

Now, for what would have to be the biggest stitch up in a record: a nasty muffled bass riff that then pulls back to a stripped back emotionally centred track called 'When You Were Me'. Which seems like a reflection of a past time where the lead vocalist is reminded if something painful and how they got through it. The tonality of his voice reminds me of Southern American hard Rock, which is pretty cool for an Aussie. At other points the real Australian accent comes through, and it's beautiful. After the first listen of this track I had the chorus stuck in my head for a number of hours. 'Leaving'. Okay so here we are again with fat muddy overdriven bass, and then some pitched guitars. But, wait for it; there's also really cool punk drums and a big old "I'm leaving, fuck you!". this gave me some more serious head nods. Its quick and punchy and all in all a cool punk track bringing nostalgic vibes.

I've got a lot of mixed opinions on this release as there is a lot of different themes. A lot of efforts to touch and play with many sounds and genres. The biggest take back for me is that while these guys are going out there and giving it a solid slog, there is no real cohesion between the songs and at times, instruments in particular tracks. Though with that being said, I see a lot of different directions these lads can go, some of them more exciting than others. I know I'll be keeping an eye out for any future music videos or releases!

Itunes - Spotify

Vocals: 8/10

Guitars: 8/10

Bass: 8/10

Drums: 8/10

Lyrics: 4/5

Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 4.5/5

Mixing: 6.5/10

Production: 16/20

Structure: 15/20

Overall: 78/100

Personal Enjoyment: 7.5/10

#Switchfoot #Sublime #Interism

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